Romance gets a lot of well-deserved ink in publishing news, but in terms of overall circulation, as in print and e, mystery still holds the top spot. I’ve been rediscovering this statistic as of late thanks to Kristi Chadwick’s excellent overview.
You’ll notice me digging deeper for whodunits, etc., in Top New Releases from the likes of Witness Impulse, the e-original thriller imprint from HarperCollins. P.S. The Edgar Awards are only a few weeks away!
It’s about bloody time! Blondie co-founder Chris Stein’s epic, of-the-moment punk photos, featuring Debbie Harry, Iggy Pop, Lester Bangs, and other icons of the era, will be published in September by Cloud publishing partner Rizzoli.
For a sneak peek of the images, sign up for Stein’s juicy Instagram. Or, buy the May 2014 issue of MOJO magazine, featuring a candid interview with Debbie.
This will no doubt end up being one of my favorite books of 2014.
Owing to my being entangled in much business at the London Book Fair last week, I missed the news about the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist. Note that the BWPF used to be the Orange Prize for Fiction, and it “celebrates excellence, originality, and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world.” An important prize for Team Collection Development to track, in other words.
One of this year’s judges is librarian favorite Caitlin Moran, FYI. I love the look on her face in the press release photo.
What do we make of the contenders (all of which are in Cloud except for Magee and McBride)?
“Researchers found that being too busy, not enjoying reading, and preferring to spend their spare time on the internet mean men read fewer books, read more slowly, and are less likely to finish them than women.”—
A study published today by the UK’s Reading Agency (through which I met my library twin, Sandy Mahal, well worth a follow if you want to track literacy goings-on in England). Well, we’re not surprised, are we? And yet, women still do not rule the world.
Once more, I must point collection development and readers’ advisory librarians to Douglas Lord, who writes the gut-bustingly hilarious and educational Books for Dudes column for Library Journal. If anyone can help you attract the elusive 18-45 male demographic, it’s he.
Here are two favorite roundups (I confess I used to edit him, but still: he has great taste and co-mingles fiction and nonfiction):
Yet again, the Cloud expands, this time thanks to the arrival of Abrams. We’re so pleased to have the catalog that contains, among other franchises, the Wimpy Kid series, which will become available to us once we have finished building functionality to support fixed format epub (in which many highly illustrated kids’ ebooks are published).
“Members can also bring together their favourite ‘shops’ to create a virtual high street of book recommendations. They can select shops owned by friends or family, as well as famous authors, local bookstores, or librarians.”—Going back to last week’s announcement about Penguin Random House’s My Independent Bookshop initiative, I hope PRH’s UK office reaches out to the public librarians of the UK. We met with six amazing women from Lewishman council, and they would no doubt have much to contribute.
On the opening day of the London Book Fair last week, the above news broke, quietly, I might add, as we were all busy running from booth to booth doing our B-to-B thing. Mulling over the show while I nurse a cold, I agree with Michael Bhaskar, digital publisher of Profile Books:
If there was one piece of news worth paying attention to at the Fair it’s the $46m funding round for @wattpad
I carry on a lot about Wattpad, and not because I think it’s going to disrupt how Cloud librarians do collection development or even how publishers publish books. What’s so arresting is the intimacy Wattpad offers between writer and reader, a relationship not far removed perhaps from the relationship librarians have with power patrons.
It may be a prime example of publishing jargon that many want to go away, but discovery is undoubtedly a theme of this year’s London Book Fair. Read the announcement about Penguin Random House’s My Independent Bookshop (now in by-invitation-only beta and focused on the UK), and now this: Peter McCarthy and Mike Shatzkin’s new Logical Marketing Agency.
“What we’re doing is applying the most modern and sophisticated digital marketing techniques and capabilities to the challenges faced by book publishers and authors — and therefore agents — and, because the same techniques apply — also by brands.”
How libraries can leverage their discovery powers is a question I’ve always got on my mind.
Say you want to attend the London Book Fair this week but can’t and aspire to grapple with discussion points. Or, maybe you just crave insight into the mind of the mid-harmonized Penguin Random House. Read this.
After a three-hour delay caused by our being re-routed to New Foundland to get a sick passenger emergency care, I finally got to my ‘hood away from my ‘hood, Clerkenwell, in northern London. Walking through the hip hustle bustle lite on Exmouth Market, I felt something was off and looked up: my favorite bookshop in the area, Clerkenwell Tales, had been shuttered.
A tweet got me an answer. Best wishes to your second go in Toronto, a fine book city. Now I need a new bookshop.
“Amazon has recently instituted 16 subcategories for literary fiction and 25 for historical fiction.”—
If you thought Amazon cared only about selling and publishing genre fiction, you’d be wrong, it seems. As I learned this morning via Faber & Faber publisher Stephen Page, last fall the mega e-tailer instituted subcategories that could help literary writers self-publish and track their progress on the site.
As blogger Claude Nougat pointed out in her illuminating post about why literary writers lag behind genre writers on self-publishing, self-promotion, etc.:
Sub-categories are important because they each have their own Top 100 list, Hot New Releases list, Popularity list and Top Rated list, and remember, that’s the primary way the Amazon market is organized: it sells through “top 100″ lists. Reviews are important, but lists are even more important to boost up a title.
The complete list of HarperCollins Imprints and Lines including Avon and Igniter
Here’s a link for those of you who really like to drill down into imprints for your collection development (and if you have the time, you should because you learn a lot about publishing). Nice and detailed just enough. Well done, HarperCollins.
“Readmill’s story ends here. Many challenges in the world of ebooks remain unsolved, and we failed to create a sustainable platform for reading. For this, we are deeply sorry. We considered every option before making the difficult decision to end the product that brought us together.”—
The excerpt above is from the good-bye note by the founders of the Readmill app. I never got a sense of how pervasive it was among library patrons. But I did know my power reader friends adored it. We’ve lost a clever piece of technology that attempted to create more community in and around ebooks.
Last Saturday evening, it was gray, cold, and pouring rain in New York City. I was stuck waiting on the outdoor J train platform when I came across these arresting tweets in my feed from former literary agent Nathan Bransford.
Bransford was conducting a Twitter chat about "Anyway: Angie," a digital short story by Daniel José Older, a rising star for Tor.Com and its original prose commissions. I couldn’t get enough of his insights on craft, in part because the story takes place in my hometown and in part owing to my interest in toying, shall we say, with genre, in this case, urban fantasy (perhaps you’ve heard of Older’s Salsa Nocturna collection).
I am trying to confirm if these stories are accessible to libraries through our Macmillan contract. I hope so! The author and his story made my wait in the rain enjoyable.
“Today, all major publishers provide some kind of U.S. library lending of ebooks. Last year, six libraries topped 1M in ebook circulations each. This is progress, but still short of the pricing and terms that best serve libraries and readers.”—
Larra Clark of ALA in The Guardian, summarizing the philosophy, mission, achievements, and challenges of 21st-century American libraries. It’s no mistake that this story ran ahead of the London Book Fair, which goes on April 8-10.
The UK’s public libraries largely have no access to ebooks (see CILIP’s statistics and context), and the country’s biggest publishers will be gathering to discuss, among other things, contracts that will effect access. Yours truly will be there and report back.
Who knew that Vanity Fair could do first-rate readers’ advisory? Not I! And yet, here it is:
"Calling for resurgence of realistic fiction in teen movies is not the same as calling for genre fiction’s head—there’s room for both. But wouldn’t it be nice to see some of the non-supernatural teens move out of the art house and into the mainstream?"
Topping VF’s list is Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park (recently made available to libraries as an ebook), many of you will be happy to know. There are also lesser-known gems with diverse-lit appeal like Benjamin Alire Saenz’s Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.
“It turns out the way to build the world’s most successful bookstore has nothing to do with knowing your customers or recommending the ‘best’ books or even making money, and everything to do with developing software, recruiting investors, and hiring a bunch of people who used to work at Walmart.”—
Indie bookseller Ruth Curry in her review of Brad Stone’s The Everything Store (available in Cloud and on my TBR pile), which doubles as a clear beginner’s guide to understanding Amazon in relation to publishing.
I know what you’re thinking: “Not another meaningless publishing conference that employs nerve-working jargon!”
Not this one, not by the looks of it anyways, when you consider it’s backed by the Frankfurt Book Fair and will be overseen in part by Supreme Publishing Environmentalist Kat Meyer, a longtime supporter of libraries.
My favorite part:
"Our goal is to accelerate innovation in storytelling and set the stage for a more profitable future for publishers and all creative media industries."
Viva Co. Lab is launching in Las Vegas later this month, and wouldn’t it be cool if Las Vegas libraries partook.